Academic Success Center Directory

The Academic Success Center is your portal to achieving academic success! We make every effort to assist students in meeting their academic goals across a wide variety of subject areas.
Hours of Operation

Monday  8am - 5pm
Tuesday  8am - 5pm
Wednesday  8am - 5pm
Thursday  8am - 5pm
Friday  8am - 5pm

Appointment times may vary outside of
the regular schedule


Academic Coaching
Ransom Hall 206
602 W. Second St., Arlington, TX

Academic Support Programs
Library 415
702 Planetarium Pl., Arlington, TX

TRIO Student Support Services
Ransom Hall 206
602 W. Second St., Arlington, TX



Kimshi Hickman, Ed.D.

Assistant Vice Provost, Retention and Completion

Bio: Dr. Kimshi Hickman received her BS and MS from Texas A&M University. Her Doctorate of Education is from Texas Tech University. In DSS, she oversees the Academic Success Center which houses Academic Support Programs and Academic Engagement Programs. This native Texan loves supporting students in achieving their academic goals.

Jennifer Luken Sutton, Ph.D

Director of TRIO - Student Support Services

Headshot of Jennifer Luken

Bio: I have worked at UTA for 20 years (since Fall 2001, my first job was a student assistant for TRIO Upward Bound Programs). My favorite part of my job is meeting students and getting to make connections. As a former TRIO student and first-generation graduate, I can relate to students and share advice.

Catherine Unite

Director of Academic Support Programs

Headshot of Catherine Unite

Bio: I have been at UTA for 10 years. It is a privilege to work every day with a diverse student body and staff who are passionate about learning and life - which inspires me. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” (Socrates)

Melissa Smith

Director, Retention and Completion Programs

Headshot of Melissa Smith

Bio: Hello! I joined the Maverick Family in 2013 and spent some fantastic years in Student Accounts and the Communications Center before joining the Academic Success Center in May of 2021! I love that my work allows me to engage with students regularly and play a role in helping them reach their own academic success.



Eileen Ferbend

Office Coordinator

Headshot of Eileen Ferbend

Bio: I have been with TRIO SSS 10 years. I enjoy working with the diverse student population at UTA and seeing our TRIO students succeed!

Krystal Morin

TRIO Success Coach

Bio: I am a first-generation graduate of UTA, having earned my degree in Social Work. I am also a TRIO Upward Bound alumni from Boys and Girls Club of Greater Tarrant County. I am committed to the success of our students, and I strive to be an advocate for them.

Carly Rastandeh

Tutor Coordinator

Carly Rastandeh

Bio : I have worked in tutoring services since 2013. I am passionate about learning, and I find great joy in sharing that passion with our UTA tutors and students!

Samantha Donoso

TRIO Success Coach

Samantha Donoso posing for camera

Bio: I began my work with the UTA community as a peer mentor and tutor for the IDEAS center (UTA’s Title V grant). As a UTA alum and current graduate student, I am proud to be a TRIO SSS Success Coach and enjoy engaging with our diverse student population. 



Christina Miller

Associate Director

Headshot of Christina Miller

Bio: 8 years of service. What I like most about my job is everything I learn from the students we work with.

Cedric Shelby, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Headshot of Cedric Shelby

Bio: 6 years of service at UTA. The thing I enjoy most about UTA is the family atmosphere the university exudes.

Erica Gott

Tutor Coordinator

Headshot of Erica Gott

Bio: I’ve been with UTA for 8 years in this department. Prior to that I worked as a tutor for the UTA Athletics Tutoring department for 2 years and was a student from 2005 to my graduation in 2009. My favorite thing about this job is working with such a diverse population. I love learning about the foods of different cultures.

Hayden Roney

SI Coordinator

Hayden Roney

Bio: I have worked at UTA for close to 4 years – 2 years professionally, 2 years prior to my graduation. I love to see students and staff alike grow, change, and become more confident in their abilities and themselves!

Monica Franco

PLTL Coordinator

Headshot of Monica Franco

Bio: I have been at UTA for 1 year. The students I serve are directly responsible for why I love this job. I hope in a small way I have made a difference in the students’ lives as they have done in mine.

Phillip Boyd

ASC Coordinator

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Bio: I started at UTA in November 2021. I love the comradery within the program.



Tangie Fields, Ed.D

Associate Director

Retention and Completion

Headshot of Tangie Fields

Bio: Greetings! I started my career at UTA in 2010 as a graduate advisor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs, before transitioning into another role at a two-year institution in 2012. Fast forward to 2021 and I have rejoined the Maverick Family! I love my job because it allows me to advocate for quality programming and services to assist students in meeting their academic goals.

Morgan Hutto

Business Analytics Analyst I

Retention and Completion

Bio: Hi! I joined UTA in January 2022! I love helping students reach their goals of obtaining a college education. I believe that everyone should be able to pursue continuing education if they wish and love being a piece of their journey!

Joseph Rivas

Retention and Completion

Headshot of Joseph Ravas

Bio: I have been at UTA for 3 years come June 2022. I love helping students. I was in their shoes once and the extra assistance would have helped me not only to graduate faster but reduce my stress and anxiety.

Michelle Villaceran

Retention and Completion

Bio: I have been with UTA since 2015 initially as a student. Later, I began my UTA career with the Office of Student Accounts in 2019 where I spent two and a half years working with students in Student Financials. I thoroughly enjoy helping students succeed and reach their goals no matter the obstacle we may face together. Everyone deserves a chance of success.

Katrina Williams

Retention and Completion

Katrina Williams

Bio: Hey MAV FAM! My name is Katrina Williams and I serve as an Academic Success Coach in the Academic Success Center. I’ve been in this role since February 2022 and I’m a proud alumna of The University of Texas at Arlington. I’m what you would call a sparkplug! I use my light to help students discover the strength and gifts they already have living inside of them. My favorite part about working with students is seeing them have the light bulb moment, when they really start to believe that they can accomplish their goals.

Destiny Perez

Retention and Completion

Bio: I have been at UTA for almost three years now. I appreciate the various types of students and backgrounds that I work with. The experience I have gained from working here has given me greater insight and allows me to grow and build valuable relationships with our students

Sophia Vieyra

Retention and Completion

Bio: Hello Mavericks! My name is Sophia Vieyra and I have been at UTA since April 2022. My goal is to make each student the best version of themselves. I know our last couple of years were everything but normal. But I am in your corner and I look forward to supporting you all in any way I can. 

Vacant Academic Coach

Retention and Completion

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Vacant Academic Coach

Retention and Completion

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Retention and Completion

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